WWE announced in early June that it had released Troy "Two Dimes" Donovan from his WWE contract due to a Wellness Policy violation. But because of NXT 2.0's taping schedule, he continued to pop up on WWE's developmental brand in the weeks that followed. That company finally addressed his departure on the June 28 episode by having Tony D'Angelo imply Donovan had been "killed" for betraying The Family, using the stereotypical mobster phrase that he was now "sleeping with the fishes."
Prior to his WWE signing, Donovan had actually made a number of AEW appearances under the name Cole Karter, with his most noteworthy match being a 51-second loss on Anthony Ogogo on an episode of Dynamite. But the latest set of AEW Dark tapings once again featured Karter, this time picking up a win against Mike Orlando. AEW then announced on Wednesday that Karter would face Ricky Starks in an Open Challenge for the FTW Championship on tonight's AEW Dynamite: Fyter Fest. Karter responded to the news by tweeting out "Ain't Dead Yet."
#FTW Champion @starkmanjones has issued an FTW Championship Open Challenge for TONIGHT on— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) July 20, 2022
Wednesday Night Dynamite, and it’s been accepted by @realcolekarter, who’s making his @AEWonTV return LIVE on @TBSNetwork on #AEWDynamite #FyterFest Night 3
@ 8pm ET/7pm CT/8pm PT TONIGHT! pic.twitter.com/Bzi1Fxsez8
The irony of the match is that this week's Dynamite is a tie-in with Discovery's Shark Week, which starts on Sunday. The show's main event, a Barbed Wire Everywhere Match between Eddie Kingston and Chris Jericho, directly ties into the theme by having The Jericho Appreciation Society suspended in a shark cage above the ring. Check out the full card for the episode below:
- Eddie Kingston vs. Chris Jericho (Barbed Wire Everywhere Match, JAS suspended above the ring in a shark cage)
- FTW Championship: Ricky Starks vs. Cole Karter
- Brody King vs. Darby Allin
- The Varsity Blinds vs. Christian Cage & Luchasaurus
- The Best Friends vs. Blackpool Combat Club (Jon Moxley & Wheeler Yuta)
- Athena, Kris Statlander & Willow Nightingale vs. Jade Cargill vs. Kiera Hogan & Leila Grey